Hay Castle was the perfect venue for this couple…..

Hay Castle – a beautiful old building right in the heart of Hay-On-Wye. It’s not been ruined by unsightly renovations – it’s been repaired where needed and the rest left in character. I hadn’t had the pleasure of working at Hay Castle yet and then in August I was hired as the wedding planner for a lovely couple, Nadya & Nicky. They contacted me because they needed to hire a planner, at reasonably short notice, to both take the remaining planning for the day and to co-ordinate the day for them. They didn’t want to worry on the day about having to co-ordinate suppliers, make sure people were where they needed to be, sorting out someone to play the music, run their various planned activities – and quite rightly so! Every couple should enjoy their day and stress should not be a factor. I want a bride’s feet to ache because they’ve spent so much time dancing, not because they’ve had to run around sorting things out. I want a groom to be by his bride’s side, not running around trying to find ushers to help him do something.

Gingerbread man at a weddingFrom the moment I met Nadya and Nicky I knew this would be a wedding I’d enjoy. I met them at Hay Castle when they had scheduled a meeting with the co-ordinator at the Castle. They seemed to be a perfect match, and their ideas for the day were quirky but so absolutely them. We met at Hay Castle and this was my first visit to this venue. They walked me through the building and what they were going to do in each room. Everything was a little different to the norm, but amazingly personal to them as a couple. There was to be a gallery full of paintings and artwork from their friends and family, the flowers were to be provided by friends who had grown them on their nursery and would then decorate the venue with them and create the most lovely bouquets, and there was to be a treasure hunt for everyone to take part in. Hay Castle itself was chosen because it united the couple’s love of books. Neither one of the couple live nearby and had chosen to travel to find their perfect location.

On the day the sun shone and the weather was gorgeous. Many of the day’s activities, including the ceremony itself, were to be held outside and so to choose a venue where the weather would play a major factor was brave, but absolutely turned out to be the right choice. Hay Castle provides a stunning lawn at the front which has the most gorgeous view of Hay and surrounding areas, and an amazing staircase at the rear up from the town, which was the perfect entrance for the bride arriving at her wedding.

Hay castle rear stepsNadya walked up through the town from her accommodation with her bridesmaids, all dressed in bright colours. Nadya herself wore a gown which was extremely cleverly designed; for the arrival she wore the full outfit, complete with purple cape which showed the universe inside and echoed her love of the stars, for the day reception she took the cape off and there was a white wedding gown, and then finally she was able to strip off the top layers of tulle and leave a white tea dress which let her dance the night away.

The day flowed beautifully and the planning all came together like a dream. All around were guests with nothing but happy faces. The bouncy castle, the ferret racing, the treasure hunt, the food and drink and then off to the swing dance class – everyone had so much to be involved in and enjoy, and if they didn’t want to take part in any of that they simply had the beauty of Hay Castle to relax to and take in.

sweatpeas at weddingNadya asked me earlier in the planning if what they had planned was “normal” and “what other couples do”. My response was (and always will be) do what YOU want. Don’t ever worry that other people don’t do something at their weddings that you want to do at yours. This is your wedding and should be about you. I have nothing but admiration for this couple for taking forward their less than traditional ideas and making them their own special day.

Please excuse the lack of decent photos – the ones here are snaps taken on the day using a good old mobile phone! Unfortunately we weren’t able to put the couple’s professional wedding photos directly into our blog but you can see them here, on the photographer’s website: Hacker Wedding Photography. The pictures paint a much better story than I could ever paint. Beautiful wedding, beautiful couple, beautiful photos.


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